The maritime south coast city of Southampton embraced its first full marathon for at least 30 years in a head to head with Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday (23 April). After a capacity 10,000 entries had been received it was estimated by organisers that three times that number were out to support runners in the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and Fun Run.
Southampton Takes On The Smoke
The main events featured an exciting mix of city, coast and parks, including three of the city’s iconic bridges: Cobden, Northam and the famously tough Itchen Bridge. The course also passed right through St Mary’s Stadium, giving participants the unique experience of running beside the pitch that has been graced by some of the greatest soccer players in the world.
All the races were sponsored by Associated British Ports (ABP) and if winning times were not as fast as those in the Smoke, there was no less drama at the finish line in Guildhall Square. Fittingly, the race of the day was ABP Southampton Marathon with victory going to David Coak (Eastleigh, 2:51:01) by three seconds from Peter Summers (Handycross, 2:51:04). Greg Spellman (Wellingborough, 2:52:15) completed the podium. The women's marathon was won by Sylwia Ward (Stubbington Green, 3:29:24) from Sharon Bareham (3:30:26) and Samantha Brownsea (Itchen Spitfires, 3:30:48).
ABP Half Marathon top three were Matthew Bennet (Southampton, 1:12:27), David Broadley (Poole, 1:13:45) and Aiden Lennan (Lordshill, 1:14:35). The women's leaders were Simone Dailey (Winchester, 1:20:10), Ellie Monks (Southampton, 1:20:43) and Kathy Bailey (Winchester, 1:22:18).
ABP Southampton 10k produced another close finish as James Hughes (Itchen Spitfires, 36:47) had five seconds on William Bryan (Winchester, 36:52) with Dan Slayford (Southend Flyers, 36:57) third. Charlotte Bowsher (Portsmouth, 38:58) took the women's prize from Laura Brenton (Southampton, 39:12) and Alice Bowles (Lordshill, 39:57).
The family fun run saw Megan Hulbert first ahead of male opposition led by Theo Abbt and Jamie Norton. Organiser Chris Rees said: "The response to the entire event has been fantastic. The addition of the full marathon distance was such a success that we're already working towards it returning in 2018.”
Full results are available on our race listings page.